Transport Minister on the buses already

By Paula Oliver

The man who will take on the transport portfolio in John Key's new Government knows what it is like to catch a bus - although he admits he doesn't do it often.

Steven Joyce, catapulted into the Cabinet as a first-time MP and handed a grunty group of portfolios, brings commercial experience and an understanding of business to his new job.

Asked if people could trust him to look after public transport while also handling his infrastructure-oriented roles, Mr Joyce volunteered that he had just ridden the Northern Busway in recent days and had a positive experience.

"I certainly haven't ridden in every form of public transport, but I can tell you actually I was on the North Shore busway the other day - I enjoyed my trip on that," he said.

"It was because I wanted to get home and I didn't have a car with me, so I decided to try out the busway."

He said it was his first time on a bus in a while but he had been keen to ride the busway after watching it being developed.

Mr Joyce is wealthy after a successful career in broadcasting, and has taken on the transport, communications and information technology, associate finance and associate infrastructure positions in Cabinet.

He will have a big hand in making National's planned broadband push a reality.

He will work closely with Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, who has taken on the newly created oversight role of Minister for Infrastructure.

Mr Joyce, National's campaign chief, was fast-tracked into Parliament after the party's hierarchy gave him a high list ranking.

He launched several well-known nationwide music stations in his previous career and is reported to have pocketed millions when they were sold.

Mr Joyce said he would receive briefings and meet people associated with his new portfolios in coming days and would "do a bit of listening".

"It's very exciting - it's a great opportunity to really make a contribution and to help John and the team."

The new minister lives on a lifestyle property at Albany with his wife and young daughter as well as a host of different animals.

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